2011’s ‘Wildlife’ was a definite critical success for Michigan’s La Dispute, who since their inception have caused many waves in the post-hardcore scene of today, and ironically have even become part of a group of bands classed under “the wave”. With their UK promo tour in support of the album also bringing in the band’s first ever show in the city of Manchester, we went along to capture ‘Wildlife’ in its live form.
Local openers Cowards (***) bring some hardcore tinged punk into play early in the night, sounding sort of like a more diluted and approachable cocktail of Gallows and Every Time I Die with less of a Southern swagger. Though their set admittedly doesn’t really get the crowd moving, their efforts and stage presence have to be commended and credited.
Former Thieves (****) are a bit of a different kettle of fish. Things are defintiely cranked up a few more gears with the band’s far more ballsy and gritty hardcore approach. Vocalist Matt Schmitz comes across as a very formidable frontman, with his roars sounding much like they’re being drawn and projected from the bowels of hell. Again, there’s sadly little crowd movement on display, but Former Thieves are definitely a band that look like they’ll be returning to these shores again very soon.
By the time La Dispute (****) take to the stage, the room is absolutely packed and bodies are sweating before the band even play a single note. ‘a Depature’ cracks open the set, and right away people are bouncing and singing along to Jordan Dreyer, whose voice even live has a rather nervous undertone and uncontrolable nature, switching from screams and yelps here, there and everywhere. Though new album numbers ‘Edward Benz, 27 Times’ and ‘Harder Harmonies’ hit strong with the crowd, it’s older favourites like ‘Said The King To The River’ that truly brings life into all watching and brings out their love for these currently underground musicians. The word “currently” is the most important word in that last sentence, because at this rate it’s very possible that won’t be the case for much longer.
Written by Zach Redrup